Reprieve for small town bank

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The Independent Online
Residents yesterday won a reprieve for the only bank left in Britain's smallest town. Barclays Bank agreed to delay closing its branch at Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales, after 30 protesters staged a demonstration over the move intended to cut costs.

Banking unions and consumer groups backed the residents' stand as an important fight back against the continuing loss of high street bank branches in rural areas.

Talks will now be held with rural development bodies in a bid to safeguard a banking service in the town which attracts thousands of visitors during the summer.

"We felt very strongly that pensioners and the disabled would be forced to travel 13 miles to the nearest bank," said Pat Clarke, the town's mayor and leader of the protests. "We are delighted Barclays have now listened to their customers. We are prepared to help the bank find a way of keeping the branch open."